‘Tis the Season to make Christmas gifts, and Bea and I started yesterday morning, making another, larger batch of comfrey-rosemary salve. Â (Joining the KCCO today.)
Comfrey, also known asÂ knit-bone, is touted as having strong healing properties. Â I have used it daily on my broken ankleÂ once the stitches healed (don’t use the salve on open wounds), but it is also commonly used on bruises and other injuries. Â It is a soothing salve to rub onto bumps, bruises, sore muscles, etc – all of which are common place in a house with 3 roller derby girls and very active, energetic kids.
Bea and I made this batch early in the morning before the other kids woke up. Â At ten years-old, she can work with the hot wax and oil safely (with a little supervision, of course).
We have a $0.25 pot from the thrift store that is used only for beeswax-based projects. Â Most of the jars were also from the thrift store, as well as some baby food jars given to me by a friend.
I grow loads of Russian Bocking Comfrey in my garden because it is a dynamic accumulator and sequesters all sorts of minerals in its leaves – thereby making it a great fertilizer in the garden, as well as excellent duck forage. Â It has deep tap roots (up to 12 feet deep!), which help break up our dense clay soil, and its delicate purple flowers are a favorite of bees – blooming for a long stretch.
Once you have the ingredients gathered, the salve takes only about 15 minutes to make. Â Here’s our recipe:
3/4 cup organic olive oilÂ
4 Tbsp dried comfrey leaves
3 sprigs dried rosemary (you can substitute 2 Tbsp dried lavender if you prefer)
1 Tbsp vitamin E oil
3/4 cup organic coconut oil
6 Tbsp chopped beeswax
10 drops tangerine or 4 drops patchouli oil (if using dried lavender, substitute with lavender oil)
– Infuse the dried herbs in the olive oil. Â This can be done two ways: Â either place the herbs and oil in a double boiler and heat gently over water (do not boil the oil over direct heat) for 30-45 minutes, or place dried herbs in the oil, cover and store in a dark place for 3-4 weeks. Â (Note: Do NOT use fresh herbs – the water in them will cause your oil/finish salve to mold. Â Herbs must be thoroughly dried.)
-Strain the dried herbs from the finished olive oil and discard them in the compost.
-Place the chopped beeswax, infused olive oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E oil in a pan. Â Heat on medium-low heat, stirring constantly until all ingredients are completely melted.
– Immediately remove from the heat, and stir in the tangerine oil.
– Pour into jars, and let cool with the lids off. Â Once thoroughly solidified, the salve will keep in a dark place at room temperature for 6 months or more. (Our kitchen was very cold when we made the salve, and it cooled very rapidly, resulting in cracks on the surface of the salve. Â Next time, I will wrap towels around the jars or perhaps cover them with a pot so they cool more slowly.)
Back tomorrow for the Yarn Along!